AMD Q3: Revenue beats despite steep decline, but earnings miss

The semiconductor maker also entered into a joint venture with Chinese tech firm Nantong Fujitsu Microelectronics in an effort to stabilize its balance sheet.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

After a profit warning and layoff announcements earlier this month, investors were cautiously watching how chipmaker AMD would fare in its third quarter results.

Turns out it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great, either.

The semiconductor maker posted a net loss of $197 million, or 25 cents per share (statement).

Non-GAAP earnings were a loss of 17 cents per share on revenue of $1.06 billion, down 26 percent year-over-year.

Wall Street was expecting AMD to post a net loss of 12 cents per share on revenue of $996 million.

In prepared remarks, AMD CEO Lisa Su said the company continues to take steps to improve its long-term financial performance and improve its business model.

"The formation of a joint venture of our back-end manufacturing assets is a significant step towards achieving these goals and strengthening our balance sheet," Su said.

The joint venture Su is referring to is one with Chinese tech firm Nantong Fujitsu Microelectronics (NFME). AMD will combine its facilities and workforce in Penang, Malaysia and Suzhou, China with NFME's outsourced semiconductor assembly. NFME will own 85 percent of the joint venture, which will give AMD $371 million in cash and net proceeds of approximately $320 million.

Here's a closer breakdown of the company's performance, by department:

  • Computing and graphics: Segment revenue increased 12 percent sequentially, however it decreased 46 percent from Q3 2014, which AMD says was driven primarily by lower client processor sales.
  • Enterprise, embedded and semi-custom: Segment revenue increased 13 percent sequentially, but decreased 2 percent year-over-year. AMD said this was primarily driven by lower embedded product and server processor sales.

For Q4 2015, AMD expects revenue to decrease another 10 percent.

While it's been only a brief few months since AMD last reported earnings, the company has racked up quite a few news-making moments.

On October 1, in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, AMD said it planned to cut 5 percent of its workforce of roughly 9,700 employees. About a year earlier the company slashed its workforce by 7 percent. AMD said the restructuring would also include the consolidation of some of its real estate holdings.

The pruning is all part of AMD's ongoing effort to cut costs and get back in the black, which include additional plans to streamline its sales structure, and outsource its IT and app development.

But the chipmaker's instability seems to have also spurred the departure of some key executives. In September AMD's chief CPU architect Jim Keller quit and left the company. Then earlier this month CPU brainiac Phil Rogers jumped ship to AMD rival NVIDIA, where he plans to serve as its compute server architect.

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